Picture of DIY Vintage Jeans... Coffee Style
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It's amazing the things you can find in the dumpster. We found some expired coffee grounds that were thrown out and decided to use them to make an old pair of worn out jeans vintage and hip.
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Step 1: Making the "coffee" dye.

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First off, to make the dye, you will need 2 bags of coffee grounds (About 10 oz each), preferably espresso.

Step 2: Getting Your Dye Bucket

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Then, get a 3-5 gallon bucket. We got ours for free at a local ice cream shop, but any kind of bucket should work.

Step 3: Making the filter.

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Next, you will have to make a filter. We used some old stockings that we cut the tops off and filled with the coffee grounds. Then make sure you tie the tops tightly.

Step 4: Brewing your dye!

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Put the coffee - grounds filled stockings into the bucket and fill it about 3/4 to the top with hot water. Make sure there's enough room for the jeans without the water spilling over.

Step 5: Gettin' the right shade of dye color.

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Let the coffee brew for about 15 to 20 min. Note: The darker the brew, the darker the stain.

Step 6: Let the brewing begin

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Then drop in your jeans and let them sit overnight.

Step 7: Wash 'N Dry!

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The next morning, take out your jeans and throw them in the washer and dryer.

Step 8: Your new dyed jeans -- Coffee style!

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Congratulations! You're all done!! Now you've got a nice, light brown tint to your jeans.

Step 9: Now, to distress the jeans....

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Grab some sandpaper and a couple random objects with a hard surface such as coins, cell phones, mint tins... etc. Put these in the pockets and sand around the edges!

Step 10: Feelin' Cheesy?

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A cheese grater makes a great addition to the smaller abraisions and gives it lots of texture.

Step 11: Some car destruction.

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Or, you could even run them over with your car!

Step 12: You're all done now!

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Now you've got yourself a one of a kind rad pair of jeans for little or no cost!

Step 13: Watch the video!

Still can't get enough? Watch the video!

And for more ThreadHeads episodes and How To's, check out our website!
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make em smell good though ;)
Crash21087 years ago
Old jeans look new? Do not you mean the other way around? Anyway, if you want old shitty jeans, just go to a pawn shop or garage sale.
adapt Crash21087 years ago
how many people buy jeans at pawn shops?
skylane adapt4 years ago
LOL... apparently plenty... I've never seen jeans in a pawn shop.. always sold out!!
Crash2108 adapt7 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Hey, but who tell you, that it must be new jeans? I will do it at my old jeans.
adapt Crash21087 years ago
to some, the distressing adds character. i don't know how much thrift store shopping you actually do, but by reading your response, i'd say "not much". for one, thrift stores rarely put out jeans w/holes. another reason is that pre-worn jeans rarely fit right because most people that wear jeans to the point of fraying wear them as work jeans. work jeans are baggy and fit stupidly (case in point: levi's 550s). pre-distressed jeans are you people who don't want to have to sacrifice the fit for the distress. if you're going to argue that people should wear them out "the natural way", i don't exactly have the time nor the patience to wear the same pair of pants every day for 1-2 years. its cool if you have that kind of time/dedication. i don't.
Crash2108 adapt7 years ago
You people must buy a lot of new jeans.
adapt Crash21087 years ago
i'm actually not a supporter of the pre-distressed look, but i can see why people are into them. for the record, i've bought one new pair of jeans in the last seven years. it's just absurd to assume the timeline of distressing your own jeans... what, are they supposed to become a family heirloom or something? buy one pair, wear until they fall apart, then buy another? you get to enjoy what, like two months of sweet, sweet distressing? then, you suggest to go buy another pair to eat up two more years? pshhhh.
Distressed jeans are about 4x the value of a new pair. Just broken in jeans are about equal in value to new ones. Really artfully distressed jeans can be several hundred dollars in a shop... maybe into the 1000 dollar + range depending on who what hwere and when... don't pooh-pooh the value of this instruble
i'm not talking down on it, this other dude is and has been through the duration. most dealers can tell pre-distress from the real stuff, not just through the thread count and such but inside tags. you're not exactly adding value here but i can see why a lot of people would really be into this.
Yeah... and costumers for the studios (I live near Hollywood) do stuff like this all the time... I wish I knew where to buy some hemp canvas jeans. Those actually might outlast me.
Brom45 years ago
I also tried this and found no results. Granted I did use a new pair of jeans but even after a day in the coffee( two 10oz bags) and a day to let the jeans dry and the stain set. The stain still washed out after the first wash in cold water. Not even the pockets remained coffee stained. I believe in theory this is a great idea but not so much in practice. Maybe I'll try again with a lighter more worn pair but not any time soon. On a more positive note the tips for distressing the jeans worked excellently. I highly recommend doing those instead of buying a pair of pre-distressed jeans. Unless you want to wear the jeans to a pulp because that works too.
J@50n Brom45 years ago
 was it espresso? espresso is STRONGER!
thartaros5 years ago
could you use black tea as a dye instead of coffee?
Red Monkey5 years ago
Dirty jeans. Nice.
lurnto5 years ago
I posted this on my blog and you can see a video of how to do it -
peskypesky5 years ago
ok...i tried it and had no success. the jeans looked almost exactly the same as before. granted, i only used one bag of espresso coffee, but i though i would see at least some stainage after an entire night of soaking. i'll guess i'll try it again with tweo bags and see if i have more luck. will let y'all know.
jonbee5 years ago
I know this thread is outdated, but I just I would throw in my 2 cents worth, such as it is. This was already covered in part, but yes, you should dry the jeans after soaking them in your steeped solution, This will heat set the stain, obviously. In addition, when you wash them for the first time, wash them on cold, with no detergent. Simply pour in 2 teaspoons... or tablespoons... pick the bigger of the two, i can't remember which is which. for whatever reason, I'm not a chemist, the vinegar causes the color to bind to the fabric better than heat treating alone.
sayako6 years ago
Omg! I just have a jeans what i just love, they suits me perfectly, and i have a hole in the back O.o Now i do THIS to they, this will be awesome.. *__* BIG thanks, guys! You save my jeans xD
urbanhg7 years ago
so i didnt read all of the comments but maybe you can try just putting them in the dryer on a high setting that should help set in the stain. i imagine by washing them you take out most of the the fresh wet coffee... also if you do think you should wash them try not using any detergent just run it with water.... and maybe before you put it in the dryer run it in the spin cycle of the washer to get out a bit of extra moisture
schimmi7 years ago
i wanna do this with a shirt
QUICKDOG7 years ago
Where can I buy that Yellow submarine? It's really cool.
Maybe they need an instructable so you can make one! :)
Labot20017 years ago

Hey guys!

If you want to do this project, I just want to point out that it didn't work so well for me, and I tried on 3 different pairs of jeans! The tint wasn't very dark, it produced more of a "dirty" look than I had hoped for, and it all washed out when I washed it. Now, granted that my "variables" may be different than yours, but hey, you have been forewarned...
crusty7 years ago
Colour is nice but is it safe to wash other clothes with that jeans in hte washing machine ? For the rest, I cant understand people wanting dressing like homeless...????
beckinacea7 years ago
Very cool instructable! Inventive and cost-effective. Now you can sell your jeans at Hollister for $350!! LOL
I'll try it. Not a bad idea since most of my old jeans are stained with coffee anyway...
lotusduck7 years ago
You should add that you should dry them THEN wash them. You have to heat-set the stain of the coffee, so after they're stained you should iron them, dry them in the sun or stick them in the dryer. After that you definitely should wash them by themselves so that the next time the extra coffee won't wash out on your other clothes. Making your pants brown is also a good way to hide other stains.
Roxner7 years ago
nice with the coffie.. but seriously wear the pants for one whole year instead of making your own "scratches".. if you wear a pair of pants for 1 year i promes you they will have many interesting colours and rips and scratches and all that ;D!
turbo20927 years ago
nice man and i hav that phone
Sgt.Waffles7 years ago
Killer! + and Faves!
you know what! I tried this on a pair of jeans I had splashed Draino on. (spotty bleached it) Anyway, after brewing and soaking for about 20 hours, I washed them and nothing happened, Maybe my detergent was so strong it took the espresso stain out or maybe it was because I used cheap espresso. So, i decided to lay the jeans out on my back sidewalk and splash more draino on the bottom 3/4 of the leggings. Now I just need to sand them a bit and "cook" them in some power lines and I'll be in business.
Brennn107 years ago
This way sure beats developing countries contaminating their water supplies by making the same type of jeans.
bduffman7 years ago
yea i bought some jean shorts from jay jays and with in a day i got a rip in them and since then they have just gotten bigger and bigger its a mass hole now as will theses become cause they will rip more when they make them at the shop they dont rip them they just stich it as a rip type thing
You know, If my jeans looked like that I'd buy a new pair. I see 'distressed' denim in UK boutiques all the time like next, top man, H & M and so on selling for around £50-60/$100 or more.

As they are not 'distressed' but 'damaged' imo, I expect a heavy discount :D

Fashion eh?

To think you can age a pair of jeans by just *wearing* them, or even sticking them in a boil wash then tumble drying them with a hanful of pumice stones like I've been doing for 10 years and now baby soft - and completely free...I cannae underatand why folk dont do this.

Oh and M & S make the best mens jeans 98% cotton 2% lycra...just enough to prevent bagging, not so much to make em too hot to wear.
I like the dye idea. We used to use tea, to make ancient parchment looking paper, for dopey school projects. This was in an age before there was a Staples on every second block, selling reams of pre-made parchmenty-looking paper. On the other hand, I'm not so sure about pre-distressed jeans. I've always viewed it as cheating somehow. If I want wrecked-looking pants, I just wear them for certain farming activities, such as hay bale wagon unloading. By the way, luv the Yellow Submarine. Is it a cookie jar, or teapot, or some such? It looks kinda ceramic.
Gjdj37 years ago
That's pretty awesome. When I "distress" my jeans, I stick my lunch card in my pocket and run a knife over it. At first it doesn't look like it's doing much, then some little jean bits come off, and finally it starts to tear.
pbpenguin57 years ago
dude that yellow submarine is awesome.
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